The main reason I recommend everybody study at least a little history is that it really brings home that the past was just completely fucking awful

In seriousness, I think this is actually an underappreciated element of anti-fascism.

A core element of fascist ideology is the idea that there was once a perfect, ideal past, that we through our degeneracy let slip away. The fascist promises to bring us back to it by being a stern ruler who will punish us for our sins.

So it's important to help people understand that there was NEVER a perfect, ideal past. There was just people and their various screw-ups. And people now are fundamentally the same as people then. The clothes change, the rituals change, but people are people.

@jalefkowit Great point. The "good old days" narrative being fascist-adjacent is one of the reasons I have a real problem with a lot of (mainstream, US-radio-played) country music.

I don't think that the musicians are necessarily consciously promoting fascism, but the uncritical romanticization of a past that never really existed seems to feed directly into it.

The last time the US was majority-rural by population, women couldn't legally vote.

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